Maybe it’s because I love shoes but do you ever check out another gal’s shoes while sitting in the …. Uh hum bathroom stall? I mean if I’m being honest here, I try to focus on her shoes instead of listening to the awkward sounds or length of her visit and what could she possibly being doing in there. Come on, she’s been in there longer than me!
I don’t know what she looks like or what she sounds like when she talks. I can’t even get an idea of who she is from her handbag because hopefully that’s hanging on the door ‘cause that floor is gross. But I just KNOW her shoes have a seen a lot. They’ve been thru the muck to keep her dry, they’ve jumped to avoid something scary, they given her confidence as she walked into a presentation, and they’ve held her up when she didn’t think she could any longer. Our shoes have some pretty big responsibilities and I don’t just mean to not give us the world’s biggest blister.
We can look at her shoes and think “Wow, those are some gorgeous heels. I bet she has some big time job that she’s like the boss of a whole team or she’s in charge of the whole operation.” When in reality she bought those shoes because she feels she’s in way over her head with the expectations of her and instead, is headed to her next appointment to try to sell something she hates just so she can support her family. She bought those shoes when she just got told that she wasn’t meeting the company’s tedious metrics but instead was performing decently at her sales. She knew she was a hard worker and good at what she does but kept getting told otherwise; those shoes were her “girl, you do know what you are doing and you are providing immensely for your family.”
Maybe we look at her pedicure and think, “Must be nice just go get your nails done whenever you want because you have all this free time.” When in reality that is her one $30 gift to herself every two weeks because she runs every other waking moment tending to her children, her spouse, her house, her friends, her extended family and maybe even another job. And the shoes that she’s wearing with her fresh pedicure are indeed four years old because when she goes to the mall it’s either with her kids who are of course asking for something right and left or as she strolls down the aisles she’s thinking, I bet my husband would like this shirt for work or I should really get those pants because my daughter’s ankles are showing from a recent growth spurt. No, she doesn’t have all this free time but she understands that if doesn’t give herself a moment to breathe and give back to herself she will eventually break.
Maybe she showed up in slippers that day and you just think she’s so lazy for not even being able to put on a real pair of shoes for the day. When in reality she is left to get all the kids ready for school by herself because her spouse works an opposite shift than her and they don’t care that the baby was up crying all night because she was sick. She woke up late since the baby finally went to bed at 3am and she fell asleep on the couch but didn’t set an alarm. So she had to run thru the house getting lunches packed, finding the missing shoe needed for an outfit, yelling for the seventh time to put your socks on and dreadfully wake up the sleeping baby who is now screaming because she’s still tired and doesn’t feel good. No, she is not lazy, she is exhausted and chose to put her energy in her children rather than her outfit to leave for the day.
We never know what other’s are truly going thru. When they snap at us inadvertently or can’t look us in the eye to talk we don’t know that they just got yelled at by someone they love or are running on three hours of sleep because she suffers from insomnia most nights. We ask for grace ourselves when we’re running on fumes but are not so quick to give grace back out. We can’t always ask to give every person a hug, they’ll get a little weirded out by that. But we can offer a smile, a “hello”, a “here let me get the door for you” or even one of the most fun; buying their drink or meal without them knowing it. Even with seeing someone’s entire outfit or bag on their shoulder we don’t know any more about them than we do the shoes we saw under the stall door. Give grace the next time someone does something you find rude, you could be just the person God sent into their life to show them He was listening to their prayers.
Now, wait…. Did she just walk out without washing her hands? Note to self, don’t touch the door handle!
If you loved this week’s message please take a moment and share with your friends and family. Everyone needs grace and maybe being reminded of it will help change their world.
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